Shopping (1994)

06 Jan 2016

silly humor
physical comedy

memorable quotes
thought provoking thinking
empathy and sympathy

fresh perspective
multiple good interpretations

immersive atmosphere
beautiful scenes

expected outcome
acceptable suspense (developments predicted minutes before)

intense action
realistic effects

untraceable (natural) acting


on the surface this could look like a reasonable Ridley Scott’s blade runner atmosphere knock-off with some ok cinematics and great set designs.

but if we indulge ourselves in attaching a meaning to the story; despite our characters’ unattractive lifestyles (in the sense of comfort and ethics), we all have the same struggle between doing things just for passion (Billy the “adrinuline junkie”) (remainding me of 李宗盛的(越过)山丘 for a cleaner representation not involving damaging physical properties) versus the cynical, practical, dirty business (Tommy and sometimes Billy’s haggling, rough ways, jealousies and betrayals) versus the hopeful, escapist’s/adventurous urges (Joe’s constant desire to get away and start anew). Then the film paints us a dark but likely progression of choices that a troubled (dystopian) youngster would make and the consequences.

great moment of reflection seeing Billy seeing his van getting trashed. this alone “justifies” our normal, boring, conventional, but ethic ways.

weird decision makeing on the police at last. did they “entrap” Billy because he’s a suspect for previous case? (not likely since why not just try to arrest him? he’s not trying real hard hiding) are they just hoping to catch them with some expensive stolen cars? (that’s a risk, Billy almost went with something modest) or are they there to stop a not yet existing heist? (does not seems like it would float in any court, if they still have one. if they don’t, why bother with this just arrest him again since you know he’s a culprit.) And now they just had to paid all those overtime to the cops to see 4 youngsters ‘die’. horrible PR. I suppose one can snake around these issues by claiming fictional universe (but it would still be a pretty unstable/undeveloped scenario).

there were a few interesting (funny) moments in the film. cannot recall clearly by now though so 5/7